Barcelona facing defensive crisis ahead of Juventus clash, Zidane responds to Isco criticism and more


After facing defeat in Saturday’s El Clasico, the Camp Nou outfit have a defensive crisis on their hands ahead of their Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus.

Barcelona are facing a defensive crisis ahead of their clash with Juventus as the Catalan giants will be without Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti for Wednesday’s tie, per Everything Barca.

Pique was shown the red card in the dying stages of Barcelona’s 5-1 victory over Ferencvaros last week. The Spain international was given his marching orders after he committed a last-man foul and wasn’t the part of the Barca squad that landed in Turin on Tuesday.

Umtiti, meanwhile, hasn’t recovered from his latest injury and will watch his side’s high-stakes clash with the Serie A champions from the sidelines. The 26-year-old centre-back suffered a knee injury before the start of the season and is yet to make an appearance in the 2020/21 campaign.

The defensive duo’s absence from the squad will force Ronaldo Koeman to pair Clement Lenglet alongside the inexperienced Ronald Araujo in the heart of his side’s defense against Juve.

Barcelona facing defensive crisis ahead of Juventus clash
Pique and Umtiti are both unavailable for Wednesday's clash (Image Copyright: imago images / Alterphotos)

Top News 2: Zinedine Zidane responds to Isco criticism

Zidane responds to Isco criticism
(Image Copyright: Imago Images / AFLOSPORT)

The Spanish playmaker had taken a dig at his manager after not being involved in Madrid’s last two clashes against Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has responded to Isco’s complaint regarding the lack of playing time afforded to the Spanish playmaker.

“It’s ambition. He wants to play. That’s positive. Players always want to play. They have to be ready and prepared to play when it’s their turn. It’s always been like that in this team,” the Frenchman told [via AS] reporters [via AS].

“If [Zidane] has to take me off, he takes me off in the 50th or 60th minute, sometimes at half-time,” Isco was reportedly picked up saying to Luka Modric and Marcelo by Movistar TV cameras. “If he has to bring me on, he brings me on in the 80th minute.”

The Spanish playmaker is yet to play full 90 minutes for Los Blancos this season and wasn’t involved at all during his side’s 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League opener last week. He was also left on the bench for Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Barcelona on Saturday.

A DIFFERENT LIGALIVE VIDEO STORY?

How will Liverpool line up against Chelsea on Thursday night
How will Liverpool line up against Chelsea on Thursday night
Tottenham transfer news: Will Gareth Bale return to Real Madrid this summer?
Tottenham transfer news: Will Gareth Bale return to Real Madrid this summer?
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners identify Hector Bellerin replacement
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners identify Hector Bellerin replacement
Liverpool Vs Chelsea preview, prediction, head to head, starting line ups, team news and more
Liverpool Vs Chelsea preview, prediction, head to head, starting line ups, team news and more

Top News 3: Lucas Digne three-game ban reduced to one after appeal

Lucas Digne three-game ban reduced to one after appeal
(Image Copyright: imago images / PA Images / xFrankxAugsteinx 56258947)

The French left-back was initially handed a three-game punishment after receiving a red card for his tackle on Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters.

Lucas Digne will now serve a one-game ban after an independent Regulatory Commission accepted that the initial three-match ban was ‘excessive punishment’, per Sky Sports.

The Everton left-back was given his marching orders during his side’s maiden Premier League defeat of the season at Southampton on Saturday.

Digne was handed the red card after he accidentally stood on the heel of Kyle Walker-Peters in an attempt to reclaim the ball in the first half.

The red card has not been chalked off so the 27-year-old will be unavailable for selection for his side’s clash against Newcastle United this weekend.

LIgalivenet Premium-Services

CLOSELOOKNET

The dossier site. Global content for global people. Top content for top subjects.

AKTE FC BAYERN

Akte FC Bayern. The Bayern Munich Files. The rise of the average. From local hero to world-class.

LIGALIVEPLUS

I’d like to invite you to become Ligaliveplus member. Getting smarter, being entertained, spotting deals. Coming soon.